Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (June 25, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

So there are only two new limited release movies opening in Indiana this week- but unlike last week (when the three new limited release films all opened only in Indianapolis), this week’s offerings can be found in three different cities across the state. And while there isn’t much “news” about what will be opening in the state in future weeks (see the end of the column for that, as usual), at least some of that news is very welcome indeed. Read on below for more….

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Mother and Child– Karen and Elizabeth have had their lives changed by adoption, while Lucy longs to adopt a child. Karen (Annette Bening) gave birth to a daughter when she was fourteen, but gave the baby up; she has been wrestling with the issue of never having met her daughter since that time. Lucy (Kerry Washington) and her husband Joseph are just starting the process of adopting a child; she really wants to be a mother, and hopes that everything will work out. Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) was adopted herself as a child; now, she is a lawyer who has difficulty establishing personal and romantic relationships with others. Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits, Cherry Jones, Elizabeth Pena, Lisa Gay Hamilton, David Morse, Amy Brenneman, Lawrence Pressman, Elpidia Carrillo, S. Epatha Merkerson, LaTanya Richardson and Tatyana Ali are just some of the actors in the cast of this ensemble drama from writer/director Rodrigo Garcia; it opens on Friday, June 25, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

Solitary Man– Ben Kalmen used to have a big-time car dealership, but lost it all when he made some big-time mistakes. Now, Ben might be able to make a return to the auto biz- or his old habits might ruin everything all over again…. Michael Douglas is Ben; Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg and Richard Schiff are in the supporting cast. Solitary Man– which was written and directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Knockaround Guys)- starts on Friday, June 25, at the AMC Showplace Schererville 16; it is scheduled to open next Friday at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

(NOTE: Once again, the Regal Greenwood Park 14 does not have next week’s times up as of Thursday night. They have been slow about posting their show times since becoming part of the Regal family, for some reason- and this is the second time they didn’t have these times posted on the regmovies.com site by Thursday evening. The odds that the Greenwood Park 14 will play something interesting and different this week are fairly low- but you might want to check, just in case.)

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Babies– This documentary is about four little ones- one living in Tokyo, another in Mongolia, a third in San Francisco, and the last in Namibia. According to its official site, the film “joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.” Babies will be at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne through Tuesday, June 29.

Back to the Future– Eric Stol- er, no… make that Michael J. Fox- stars in the 1985 mega-hit, which will be shown at 2 and 7:30 PM this Friday and Saturday at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin. (Wow- it’s been twenty-five years since this one came out? Unbelievable….)

$50,000 Reward and In Old Santa Fe (1934)- The Yes Cinema in Columbus will be showing a double feature of two films starring Western star and Indiana native Ken Maynard on Saturday, June 26; admission is $5 for both. The 1924 silent $50,000 Reward starts at 11 AM, and In Old Santa Fe (1934) gets underway at noon.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– A smash-hit in Europe, and based on an international best-seller, this is a thriller about an investigation into the decades-old disappearance of a young woman, Harriet Vanger, from a small Swedish island- most of which is owned by her wealthy and powerful family. Harriet’s now-elderly uncle Henrik is convinced that she was murdered- most likely by a member of their own very odd family. Henrik wants to get to the bottom of the mystery before he dies, so he hires investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist to look at the case with fresh eyes. Blomkvist eventually finds himself working with a most unexpected partner- a hyper-intelligent (and extremely anti-social) computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (the dragon-tattooed girl of the title). As the pair gets closer to discovering what really happened, they find that someone is very determined to prevent them from finding the truth. Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Sven-Bertil Taube and Gunnel Lindblom (Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, The Virgin Spring, Scenes from a Marriage) are all in the cast of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis; it also starts Friday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- and will be shown in Bloomington on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (go to The Ryder’s site for show time and location information for these screenings).

The Great Dan Patch– The story of the famed horse and the people around him is told in this 1949 drama, which stars Dennis O’Keefe, Gail Russell, Ruth Warrick and Charlotte Greenwood. Given when it was made, you can expect a rigorous adherence to the facts and a minimum of schmaltz and shinola. (Or maybe not….) The Great Dan Patch will be this month’s “Vintage Movie Night” offering at the Garfield Parks Art Center in Indianapolis; the movie starts at 8 PM on Saturday, June 26, and will be preceded by a cartoon.

Harry Brown– Michael Caine plays Harry, a widower and veteran of the Korean War who lives in a neighborhood that is increasingly overrun by amoral and violent hooligans. After his best friend is killed by some of the vicious young punks- and the police aren’t especially helpful- Harry decides that he has to take on the youths himself, and that he must do so using their own violent methods. Harry Brown continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Hubble 3D– Leonardo DiCaprio narrates this documentary about NASA’s space telescope, its much-publicized initial problems, and the efforts of astronauts to repair the Hubble. According to its official site, Hubble 3D lets moviegoers “journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings;” it will have several shows per day this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

In Old Santa Fe (1934) – See $50,000 Reward above.

The Joneses– Demi Moore, David Duchovny, and Amber Heard star in this comedy about a phony “family” who are actually undercover marketers paid to conspicuously consume new products and fashions so that their wealthy, trend-setting neighbors will want them too. The Joneses shows this Friday, Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

The Oath– Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan are brothers-in-law- the former was once Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, while the latter used to be bin Laden’s driver. Hamdam was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for several years, and eventually went before a military tribunal; during the trial, Hamdan’s lawyers challenged “fundamental flaws in the court system,” according to this documentary’s official site. Meanwhile, Abu Jandal works as a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen. As he talks with his son and others, he shows how his beliefs have changed after 9/11. The Oath– which uses “Jandal and Hamdan’s intertwined personal trajectories… to explore and contextualize a world which has confounded Western media,” per its official site- will be shown in Bloomington this Friday and Saturday, by way of The Ryder Film Series. See The Ryder’s site for further information on location and show times.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure– The Indianapolis Museum of Art will show Tim Burton’s 1985 hit on Friday, June 25, as part of their “Summer Nights” film series. The location is the IMA’s Amphitheater; the doors open at 6:30 PM (or 6 PM for IMA members)- and the big adventure starts at dusk. (As with Back to the Future, I am amazed that this one came out a quarter of a century ago- yikes….)

Please Give– Kate (Catherine Keener) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) run a pricey, faddish furniture store in Manhattan. Unbeknownst to their customers, Kate and Alex stock their store with items they buy on the cheap at estate sales- and then massively mark up. That’s just one thing that’s been bothering Kate, however- she also has concerns about her marriage, and wants to discourage her daughter’s materialistic tendencies. At the same time, Kate worries about the homeless people and general poverty in New York City- and she also must deal with her crotchety old neighbor Andra, and Andra’s two granddaughters. Please Give is the fourth collaboration between Catherine Keener and writer/director Nicole Holofcener; Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Kevin Corrigan, and Ann Guilbert (“Millie Helper” from The Dick Van Dyke Show) are in the supporting cast. This comedy/drama holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Raavan– A high-ranking police officer and his new bride move to a remote rural area of India which is dominated by a local tough guy named Beera, who runs things his way. The cop vows to bring Beera under his control, but his plan goes awry, and Beera is merely wounded; meanwhile, the actions of several lower-level cops lead to tragic consequences for Beera’s beloved sister. Beera kidnaps the policeman’s wife, Ragini- but Beera’s plan doesn’t work out as intended either, since he falls in love with Ragini…. Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, Vikram and Abhishek Bachchan head the cast of this Hindi-language film with English subtitles, which will be at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis through “Thursday, June 30.” according to the manoranjaninc site. By the way- while I couldn’t make it out to the G14 to see Raavanan, the Tamil version of this film, I did see Raavan itself. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good- mainly because Abhishek Bachchan so strenuously overdoes it as Beera. Maybe I’m missing something about the character he’s playing because I’m not Indian, and my cultural ignorance is leading me to misjudge the performance- but as it stands, I thought Bachchan’s acting here would be Razzie-worthy, if they paid any attention to Indian films. The other main fault- besides an obnoxious “comedy-relief” character- was that the policeman character was too much of a cipher; his motivations just weren’t clear enough at several key moments. The only really interesting part of the movie, for me, was the way the movie effectively played with your sympathies- first one character comes across as “the hero,” but then another character seems to be the good guy, and then maybe things switch around again once or twice before the movie ends. But apart from that- and some very good photography showcasing some amazing locations in rural India- I didn’t see much to recommend here.

The Secret in Their Eyes– Retired criminal court worker Benjamin Esposito decides to use his new-found free time to write a book. Following the maxim “write what you know,” Benjamin bases his novel on a 1974 murder case which he tried to help solve at the time. But Benjamin lived in Buenos Aires, and the Argentina of 1974 could be a dangerous, violent place- so his investigation puts him and the friends who are helping him in peril. As the present-day Benjamin writes his novel, his memories of the past- especially the mistakes he made, and the opportunities he lost- threaten to overwhelm him…. The Secret in Their Eyes– which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film a few weeks ago- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D– World champion surfer Kelly Slater is your guide through this 3D thrill-ride of a surfing movie, which continues this week at the IMAX Theatre in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

Also showing theatrically in Indiana this week: Dinosaur Train, from The Jim Henson Company. For more information on theaters showing this one- and other information, such as show times- click on the title and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

The home page for the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis has no “new news” this week- but it does still say that Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is set to open next Friday, July 2. As noted above, Solitary Man is also set to start at the KAC next Friday- and it looks like Cyrus will open at the KAC on that day as well, according to the weekly Film Club email from the theater (although Cyrus hasn’t been posted on the KAC’s home page as of yet, for whatever it’s worth).

As of Thursday evening, there was nothing about new/upcoming Indian films at the Georgetown 14 on manoranjaninc’s site. However, there is still some cool news this week about the G14- the site for the creepy-looking documentary Cropsey says that it will start at that theater on Friday, July 16.

And finally, even more cool/good news- the site for the Indianapolis International Film Festival now has the schedule of films online for the 2010 festival. (The schedule may have been up there for a while now, by the way, but I noticed it just this week.) As usual, it looks like there are some really great titles in the lineup; this year’s festival runs from Thursday, July 15, through Saturday, July 24.

2 responses to “Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (June 25, 2010)

  1. What looks especially interesting to you in the Festival? The line-up seems weaker to me every year so I wasn’t even going to look at it; certainly the claim to be ‘international’ (meaning predominantly foreign) is no longer true.

    A query for you about the frustrations of film distribution raised in previous posts. An article in the Economist recently suggested that box office receipts are reclaiming their importance to a film’s profitability because of the decline in DVD sales. Do you see audiences returning to theaters or moving to online, pay per view, etc. alternatives to DVD purchasing? I can believe that we might see a small movement of cinephiles crusading for the big screen experience – similar to the new enthusiasm for vinyl records among audiophiles – but I don’t feel optimistic that it will bring different fare to the theaters.

  2. Miriam- I’ll try to answer your questions in more detail tomorrow (along with Helen’s question from last week). For now, though, an UPDATE:

    I just learned today that the Bollywood film I Hate Luv Storys [yup, that’s how they spell the title] starts tomorrow at the Eagle Highlands 10; no word yet from manoranjaninc on when or if this will play the Georgetown 14.

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